This film had a lot going for it -- an interesting and timely story about Nazis, world fuel supplies, and high gas prices; a bunch of great actors including Marlon Brando and George C. Scott in his last performance; and solid production values.
Unfortuately, this was all undone because "The Formula" -- a formula for alternative fuel devised by the Nazis in World War II and hidden by gas executives -- is the most poorly edited film in movie history. The chain of events in this movie is so incongruous is strains the viewer to stay involved and eventually defeats every viewer's ability to manage the "plot".
I'll never forget the day I waited in anticipation of seeing it at the theater when it came out in 1980. While standing in line to enter, my frined from work came out. I asked him how it was. "You have to keep up with it," he said.
Not much question today that he wasn't being cryptic or evasive in his response. This film had everything going for it -- great actors, a timely plot, perhaps even more timely today, great studio values, wonderful lighting, everything except an editor.
Finally, I have two questions: Why wasn't this film re-edited on DVD release? And who is that guy on the DVD cover mimicking a young Marlon Brando? Didn't they see the bald, fat, and old actor that played his part in the movie?